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Published: Wednesday, 4/6/2011

Growing a pizza garden in a pot

Start your pizza garden with a tomato plant in the center of a large pot. Start your pizza garden with a tomato plant in the center of a large pot.
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As you load your flat bed wagon with spring plants, don't forget to add a few snack-able plants. A vegetable garden doesn't have to be a square plot in our back yard. Keep some of those healthy edibles right at your fingertips.

Pizza garden

Try putting some vegetable combinations together that also go together on your dinner table.

A pizza garden is an easy one and fun to do with your kids. Start with one tomato plant in the center of a large garden pot. Pick your favorite, from beefeaters, to grape tomatoes. Just be sure to put a strong cage or trellis around them to keep them growing vertically. Around the edges, plant basil, oregano, one pepper plant and a small patch of onions.

Give your potted plants some room because they will take up a lot of space as they grow. Depending on the size of your container, you may only plant two or three plants in each one to give them enough space to mature.

Herbal bliss

Matt Ross, horticulture instructor at Owens Community College, has a few unique ideas for hanging baskets and planters.

"Everyone loves fresh lettuce greens for any meal," he says. "Mix heirloom lettuces with trailing New Zealand spinach."

Ross tries to put combinations together that will complement each other in the pot and on the dinner table.

How about keeping a leash on some plants that can go wild in your garden?

We love to use mint in recipes and drinks, but it can take over the entire garden quickly.

Matt has a solution for that.

"Keep it in a pot. It has many uses, but since it is so aggressive, it is best kept in a contained environment," Ross says.

He combines variegated mint and violas or pansies in one basket and says even the viola blossoms can be plucked off and used in a salad.

"Violas also brighten up spikes of chive," he says.

It's thyme

There's never enough of this in one day, so why not plant some in a container?

Ross suggests planting lemon, foxley and English thyme surrounding a center spike of fennel.

"You can also use a leek in the center of your planter and surround it with thai basil and strawberries that will trail off the edge of your container"

Edible landscape

Here are some other edible plants you might already have in your landscape: marigolds, dandelions, daylily blossoms, bee balm, nasturtium, pansies and squash blossoms.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com.

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